Sample Integrated Pest Management Policy
Pests can pose significant problems to people, property, and the environment. Pesticides pose similar risks. Children spend a great deal of time in schools and face greater potential for health effects resulting from pest and pesticide exposure. By reducing reliance on pesticides and incorporating low-risk control options, Integrated Pest Management (IPM) reduces both pests and pesticide risks. It is therefore the policy of this school to incorporate IPM procedures for controlling pests.
Integrated pest management procedures
IPM relies on pest monitoring and the most economical and least hazardous combination of cultural, physical, biological, and/or chemical controls to prevent unacceptable levels of pest activity and damage. The school will develop a site plan for each locality on school property that may experience pest problems. These plans will incorporate IPM and outline specific management tactics.
The full range of management options, including no action at all, will be considered. The choice of using a pesticide is based on a review of all other available options and a determination that these options are not acceptable or are not feasible. Non-chemical pest management methods are used whenever possible. Direct action will be used only when specific pest thresholds are reached. When it is determined that a pesticide must be used, the least hazardous material and method of application will be chosen. Pesticide applications will be timed to minimize their impact on school grounds. All pesticides will be handled according to state and federal law.
Pest management objectives
- Maintain a safe and sustainable school environment.
- Protect human health by suppressing pests that threaten public health and safety.
- Reduce exposure of humans, particularly children, to pesticides.
- Reduce or prevent pest damage to school properties.
- Reduce environmental pollution.
- Reduce the costs of pest management.
- Prevent pests from spreading beyond school property.
- Enhance the quality of life for students, staff, and others using school property.
The school will appoint a school employee as the IPM Coordinator responsible for overseeing implementation of the IPM Policy and site plans. The Coordinator's responsibilities will include:
- Recording all pest sightings by school staff and students.
- Recording all pesticide use and making those records available.
- Making pesticide labels and material safety data sheets for all products applied available.
- Coordinating management activities with pest control contractors.
- Approving appropriate pesticide applications-methods, materials, timing, and location.
- Assuring that all of the pest control contractor's recommendations on maintenance and sanitation are carried out where feasible.
- Posting and notification of pesticide application.
- Evaluating the school's progress in implementing the IPM plan.
The school community will be educated about potential pest problems and IPM methods used to achieve the pest management objectives. From the very beginning, IPM should involve people from all segments of the school community.
Pest sighting data sheets and pest control records will be kept current and accessible to verify the need for treatments and track the effectiveness of management activities. Pesticide records shall be maintained on site and meet the requirements of the Maine Board of Pesticides Control.
A notice will be provided to school staff, students, and parents at the beginning of each school year briefly explaining the school's pesticide use policy. The notice must explain how the school will provide written notification at least 5 days before each high-risk pesticide application done during the regular school year and how signs will also be posted two working days before until 48 hours after high-risk treatments applied any time of year.
Pesticide storage and purchase
Pesticide purchases will be limited to the amount needed for use during the year. Pesticides will be stored in an appropriate, secure site that is not accessible to students or unauthorized personnel and disposed of in accordance with label directions and state regulations.
Any person applying pesticides on school grounds will be trained in the principles and practices of IPM and licensed as a commercial pesticide applicator by the Maine Board of Pesticides Control. Applicators must follow state regulations and label precautions and must comply with the School IPM Policy and pest management site plans.
This model policy is provided to Maine K-12 schools by the Maine School Integrated Pest Management Program, a partnership between the Maine Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources, the Maine Board of Pesticides Control, and the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Pest Management Office
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Maine School Management Association also provides a sample IPM policy to its members.